Mike Bracken, co-founder of MySociety and former Guardian executive, to be government’s Executive Director of Digital
By Matt Warman, Consumer Technology Editor
11:00AM BST 20 May 2011
The Government has announced the appointment of its new head of all things digital. Mike Bracken will take up the post some have dubbed the ‘Twitter tsar’, having stood down from his position as Head of Technology at the Guardian last week. Mr Bracken previously helped found MySociety, the pioneering website that now runs services such as TheyWorkForYou and FixMyStreet.
The new post, according to the Cabinet Office, will be “a major cross-Government role that will have responsibility for overseeing and improving all of the Government’s online presence and extending the number of public services available online”. Responsible for over 100 staff and for saving at least £6 million from Directgov’s annual budget, the position was advertised with a salary of £142,000.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Mr Bracken said he wanted government to become “a world leader in eGovernment. All the internal and external factors are pointing towards a revolution in digital public service delivery, and to be offered this opportunity was an honour. While there is a great deal to do, I am convinced that if we attract new digital skills, adopt user-first principles and work collaboratively within Government and with a wider, more agile supplier base, then we can improve how citizens interact with Government. It will take backing from all corners, but the prize on offer is simply too great to ignore.”
Last year the Coalition said it wanted to axe 75 per cent of all Government websites, cutting annual web spending from £560 million to £200 million. It recently launched alpha.gov.uk, a new test single site to access all government services.